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Keeping the badge polished: 36th SFS unveils new memorial

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
The 36th Security Forces Squadron unveiled a new memorial in its halls Aug. 6 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

The memorial honors fallen defenders who supported Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

"We hope that when people see this memorial, they are reminded of the work security forces does," said Staff Sgt. Scott Ray, 36th SFS assistant flight chief. "We want them to be able to look at the wall and realize they are doing all of this for a reason. We are really out there doing an important mission."

Plans to create the memorial began last November when Ray brought the idea to his flight chief, Tech. Sgt. Richard Goetschel.

"It was Ray's brainchild," Goetschel said.  "I made sure that if something needed to be done beyond his level that it was accomplished. Otherwise he did the work for it."

Almost a full year later, Ray's vision became a reality.

The memorial is comprised of 10 photographs of the fallen defenders with an accompanying biography for each one. In front of the photos is a symbolic battle cross, a replica M4 carbine with a helmet at the top and boots in front. Additionally, 10 dog tags hang from the rifle detailing the fallen Airmen's dates of birth, dates of death, and the name of the operation they supported.

Ray said the biographies and the dog tags added a personal touch to the memorial.

While the memorial took almost a year to produce, the 36th SFS Airmen hope that it has a lasting impact on future Airmen who will walk down the same halls.

"The Airmen who have come before us put the polish on the badges that all of security forces wears," said Maj. Mike Jewell, 36th SFS commander. "So it's important that we, in honor of their sacrifices, keep our badges polished."